NIH Research Festival
Aims: We hypothesize that radiation-related fatigue (RRF) is associated with differences in the adaptive response to oxidative stress generated by radiation therapy (RT). Methods: Men with non-metastatic prostate cancer (NM-PC) receiving external beam RT (EBRT) were enrolled. Fatigue scores, as measured by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy– Fatigue subscale (FACT-F) and blood were obtained at baseline, before EBRT (T1) and one month post EBRT (T2). Participants were categorized into fatigue groups, based on a ≥ 3 decrease in FACT-F score from T1 to T2 (worsening fatigue). The expression profile of 84 genes related to oxidative stress was measured from collected blood using the RT2 Profiler Human Oxidative Stress Plus PCR Array (Qiagen, Inc., Valencia, CA). Results: Of the 24 men enrolled in this study, 11 had fatigue and 13 had no fatigue at T2. At T1, there were no significant differences in gene expression between the fatigue groups. From T1 to T2, 3 genes were significantly downregulated and two genes were significantly upregulated in the fatigue group; whereas 2 genes were differentially expressed in the non-fatigued group (fold-change ≥ 1.5; p ≤ 0.05). Furthermore, a set of 16 genes were found to predict RRF with 87.5% accuracy. Conclusions: During EBRT, the 5 genes that were differentially expressed distinctly in the fatigued group were associated with antioxidant response, response to hypoxia, and oxidative stress response. These differences in oxidative stress activity may explain the biologic underpinnings of RRF.
Scientific Focus Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences
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